I wrote and emailed this to my friends a few days after I moved from NYC to Boston.  Since then I have added to it in a sperate thread (on Facebook, but with the new timeline it is gone).  THought you may enjoy it, feel free to add stuff.


As I drove away from  New York this morning I thought I would share with my friends some of the things I have learned about living in New York.  Some things will make your time in NY easier, some you may know already, some not, and some are just fun things to do.  Hope you enjoy and thanks for the good times everyone.


  1. Walk fast
  2. Faster then you think
  3. If someone is not walking fast feel free to say something to them about it.
  4. When a subway pulls into a station, stand to the sides of the doors, wait till everyone walks out, and then enter.
  5. When you are on a subway that pulls into a station if people do not stand to the side of the doors, feel free to throw an elbow at them.  When they look at you say, “Excuse you”.
  6. There are several free things to do in NY.  Shakespeare in the park, the philharmonic, and going to the main post office on tax day.  All free, all fun.
  7. If you have friends from out of town, they will use Time Out NY to figure out fun things to do.  Feel free to laugh at them.
  8. Yes, the subway stinks, but people with cars in NYC stink more (outer boroughs excluded)
  9. If you are walking and a car honks at you to go faster. Always stop right in front of the car and just pause for as long as you can.  When they honk more, look at them and pantomime that you can’t hear what they are saying.
  10. If you are walking against a light and a car is coming at you, just ignore it.  Worst-case scenario is you have a great lawsuit….well that and a stay in the hospital.
  11. When you take a taxi, tell the driver in your home country you were a taxi driver but here you are a doctor!
  12. If you are uniformed about something, feel free to have an opinion about it anyway.  The less you know, the louder you should be.
  13. Hotels have the best toilets and are free.
  14. Based on looks alone you never know who is going to ask you for a quarter.
  15. Never give out money on the street.
  16. If you think it is a scam, it is.
  17. Don’t make fun of bums; they got a hard enough life.  Give them some food if they ask you for money.
  18. No matter what, never try to pet a police dog.
  19. NY is about choice, if some place does not meet your expectations walk a block and you will find another place.
  20. If you are rich, don’t flaunt it.
  21. When leaving a bar, an exit shot is never a bad idea.
  22. If approached by a livery cab, negotiate the price before you get in.
  23. Stay out of Times Square.  It is not for you.
  24. You pay too much for your place, everything is dirty, people are loud, and yet millions of people all over the world want to live where you are right now.
  25. Woman hate walking on grates.
  26. Men should walk on the street side of woman.
  27. Don’t take a date to a sports bar.
  28. If you see someone fall and get hurt, don’t feel bad about laughing at them.
  29. Living in New York without a pair of binoculars is a travesty.
  30. Stand in front of your window naked as often as you can. Scratch when needed.
  31. At any given point in time you have five friends inviting you to see their “show” this weekend.  If you go to one a year, you are fine.
  32. Feel bad for Mets and Jets fans, they think with their hearts not with their heads.  Also, it is very easy to borrow money from these fans and never pay it back.
  33. NY is at it’s most beautiful right after a snowstorm everything is white and quiet.  Five minutes later it will be a slushy crap grey. Enjoy it while you can.  If it snows enough to close the subway, it is a snow day.  Proceed to your favorite bar.
  34. The Boat Basin is great the first three times you are there.
  35. The Upper East Side is great until you turn 29.
  36. Ride your bike across the Brooklyn Bridge, scream obscenities at tourists walking in the bike lane.  It will relieve stress, and give them a good story to take home.
  37. People who roller blade with headphones on are crazy.
  38. When you see a tourist looking at a map, give them the wrong directions.  It is a shitty thing to do, but you will laugh about it all day.
  39. I have no clue how those shoe repair places stay in business
  40. Drop off your laundry; you will never do it yourself again.
  41. Try to find a bodega that does not have lotto.  Trust me on this.
  42. Join a sports league.  There are tons of them in NYC and you will meet some cool folks.
  43. If someone says NY is nice but I wouldn’t want to live there.  Tell them we wouldn’t want them there anyway.
  44. NYC is the cultural capital of the world; make sure that not 100% of your friends look like you.
  45. It goes in this order, The New York Times, The Daily News, AM NY, Metro NY, The New York Post.  (The NY Post goes up to the top if all you read is the sports section)
  46. You will never get a cab on Friday at 7 PM in the rain.
  47. If a taxi driver has there off duty light on, hail them anyway, you never know.
  48. Take the LIRR to Jamaica, then the air train to JFK.  The subway takes forever.
  49. People come and go from NYC all the time.
  50. The last 15 years of my life have gone by in a New York minute.

Views: 108

Comment by Anna on April 30, 2012 at 8:51pm

I DO hate walking on grates - how did you know that?

Comment by Paul on May 30, 2012 at 1:56pm

Corollaries, if I may:

1a. Don't just walk fast. Walk tense. Don't take long bouncy strides and pivot around obstacles. You are not Fred Astaire on 1940 back-lot Fifth Avenue. This is the rat race and you are a rat. Lock your knees. Be jerky. Scrabble for your life.

12a. Keep a little negativity with you always. Read up on the evil eye and don't tempt it. When you agree with someone don't say "Yes, I agree." Say "No, I agree." Opposition is strength and assertiveness - sometimes the only kind New York allows you.

24a. These facts are all intimately related, all causes and effects of one another. Don't try to apprehend the logic of this or New York will eat your soul.

Comment by stormgal on May 30, 2012 at 10:36pm

love it :-)

Comment by Sarah Devine on July 30, 2012 at 12:37am

Haha. :) This is great. Here are some things I've learned:

- If someone tries to talk to you, they're either selling something, or they're insane. Often, both. Don't make eye contact. 

- Cars are not the enemy; bicycles will be the death of us all. 


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